Latest Rail News

The Illinois Commerce Commission has granted approval for safety improvements at five grade crossings around the state. ICC OKed the installation of new automatic flashing light signals and gates and roadway approach grade improvements at the N. 9th Avenue highway-rail grade crossing of Norfolk Southern track near Litchfield, Montgomery County The total estimated cost for the new automatic warning devices is $280,806. The Grade Crossing Protection Fund will be used to pay 95 percent of the signal installation costs, not to exceed $266,766. NS will pay all remaining installation costs, as well as all future operating and maintenance costs related to the new automatic warning devices. All work is to be completed by Jan. 6, 2011.

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The companies behind a C$400-million proposal to build a second Detroit River rail tunnel have issued a pre-bid notice - a call for companies to prove qualifications - to conduct the environmental assessment for the project, The Windsor Star reports. Borealis Infrastructure and Canadian Pacific Railway, co-owners of the 100-year-old Windsor-Detroit rail tunnel, plan to build an adjacent tunnel to accommodate larger double-stacked railway cars and possibly high-speed cross-border passenger service.

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A Plainview lawmaker is backing away from supporting Rochester, Minnesota's proposed railroad bypass, The Post-Bulletin reports. DFL House Assistant Majority Leader Andy Welti recently sent a letter to constituents who live along the potential rail route saying that it is time to start negotiating with the railroad.

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The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority has selected HDR to complete an environment assessment and preliminary engineering for extensions of the New Orleans streetcar network into the Central Business District and neighborhoods surrounding the French Quarter. HDR previously did the alternatives analysis identifying streetcar investments for these areas, and the related conceptual engineering.

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The Executive Committee of the American Wood Protection Association gave final approval on January 26 for listing of ACZA-treated railroad ties in the AWPA Book of Standards. Ammoniacal Copper Zinc Arsenate (ACZA) has been listed in AWPA standards since 1983 as an accepted wood preservative, but it was not listed for protection of ties. Recent pressures on creosote-treated ties led Arch Wood Protection, Inc., licensor of the Chemonite brand of ACZA-treated wood, to submit test data to AWPA membership for tie applications.

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Cutting-edge environmental technologies and green design will make the Northwest Ohio Terminal Facility, a new freight transit hub under construction in North Baltimore, Ohio, one of the most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced freight terminals in the country.

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The construction of a new transit center in downtown San Francisco received a financial boost from a $171-million federal loan, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. The new Transbay Transit Center will connect the Bay Area to the rest of California, making daily commutes and longer trips easier, faster and more convenient.

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Union Pacific is investing nearly $42 million to improve its existing rail lines in Arizona.  Projects under way in the first quarter 2010 include track renewal work in the Phoenix and Mesa areas, railroad tie replacement in Union Pacific's Phoenix and Tucson rail yards and railroad tie replacement on Union Pacific's main line between Casa Grande and Yuma.

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Beginning the weekend of Jan. 29-Feb 1 and running for nine consecutive weekends, MTA NYC Transit 7 Line trains will operate between Main Street-Flushing and Queensboro Plaza only. There will be no 7 train service between Grand Central in Manhattan and Long Island City. Fare-free shuttle buses will be available.

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As a part of its Great American Stations Project, Amtrak is hosting its fifth Civic Conversation in San Antonio, Texas, to discuss the redevelopment and restoration of passenger rail stations with a focus on communities along the routes of the Texas Eagle, Sunset Limited and Heartland Flyer. The two-day workshop, January 27-28, includes information on design and planning guidelines and a how-to session on getting started on a station renewal project and the types of state and federal grants available for station improvements.

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